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Counterpoints Arts

Plant a Seed

Listening to birdsong.

Watching the clouds pass.

Feeling the coolness of soil as it crumbles between your fingers.

Whatever we’ve been through, nature can calm and ground us, and help us believe that new beginnings are possible. Reconnecting with the earth can also help us remember our place in the natural world, rediscovering that we are part of nature, and it is part of us.

The heating of our planet is already causing people to lose their homes and livelihoods, and will affect all of us. The Earth, our shared and only refuge, has never been under greater threat. As we face a climate emergency, it is only natural to feel fearful and powerless. What can we possibly do to make a difference, when the threat is so huge?

But sometimes it’s when we most need to act that we also need to slow down. Coming together with others to reconnect with nature can help us imagine a future where the Earth’s balance is restored, and work out what actions we can take in our communities to help our planet to heal. To paraphrase the climate justice collective Wretched of the Earth, there is power in our collective imagination, and all big changes begin as ideas for the future.

This Simple Act invites to join with others to plant a seed, and watch it grow. You might plant a seed (or more!) at school, with an organisation or group you are part of, on your windowsill, while on a walk or as part of a Refugee Week event. 

While you are planting together, we invite you to learn more about climate justice, commit to taking action together, or take a moment to imagine what a greener, more joyful planet might look like for you locally. 

Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • People in the majority world are most affected by climate change, and industrialised societies have much to learn from indigenous cultures about sustainable ways of living. Find out about a climate activist or movement you didn’t know about before, and dedicate your seed to them. As your plant grows, you can learn more about their work and message, and share it with others.
  • Share experiences and memories of living with nature. What knowledge does your group have about caring for animals, mending and reusing, or growing and sharing food? How might we bring these practices back into our lives here today? What would our streets and communities look like if all forms of life were cared for?
  • What is already happening in your local area? Find a group or initiative for climate justice that you’d like to take part in – or start your own!

Share your plans, photos, videos or reflections on social media using #PlantaSeed and #SimpleActs.

If your social media post includes images or names of other people, make sure you get permission first, including from parents/ guardians of anyone under 18.

Resources

Read:

Climate Emergency Power Pack: Five ways to begin thinking about the climate emergency through quotes from young climate activists, Wretched of the Earth 

Reading and Resources on Climate Justice, Friends of the Earth

Race and Climate Reading List, Friends of the Earth 

How to heal in the Anthropocene: In a time of deep planetary change, how do we begin to recover from the trauma of climate change?, Rachel Clissold, Ross Westoby and Karen E McNamara, BBC

Ten ways to confront the climate crisis without losing hope, Rebecca Solnit in The Guardian

How To Develop A Planetary Consciousness, Achille Mbembe

Listen:

The Long Time Academy: A podcast on how to be a good ancestor, Ella Saltmarshe

The Colour Green: Conversations with artists and activists of colour who are connecting climate justice, race, power and inequality

Land in Our Names: Black-led collective committed to reparations in Britain by connecting land and climate justice with racial justice

Plant a Seed is one of eight Simple Acts you can do for Refugee Week 2022. To view them all, visit the Simple Acts page.

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